BCM61 - Two bridge descent methods using the plateau base - plus PAL speed run showdown

(6:35) Level 5 ('Assault on the Control Room') on Heroic. For PAL Xbox this shows how you can descend from the first bridge in two ways using the Shade plateau base. The first was recently shown by Sligfantry; see here in my bridge descent guide for an account. The second is based on a freaky occurrence he mentioned, which I investigated to find a technique; see here in my guide. As a bit of extra fun, there's also a light-hearted showdown between methods for PAL speed runs.

Released December 19th 2012, gameplay recorded December 12th-19th 2012.


00:02 (Setting up) I want to set things up with a handy checkpoint for retries on edge of the rocky ledge (known as the 'V' in my descent guide), but the Banshee and Elite could both attack me there, so I get rid of them first. I'm not in any rush, and naturally a few other covies get taken out along the way too. I especially like the way that tagged Jackal goes flying off, heh heh. After triggering the checkpoint at the floor lights, I wasn't going to bother with the Grunts on the lower deck, but one of them had the nerve to try and needle me so I paused to lob a frag down. You can hear the cries: "No, not me! - Waahhhh!"

Incidentally, when I was using the pistol on the Banshee around 0:42, you can hear a Grunt cry "No-ho-ho!" That's because he fell off the bridge of his own accord, a fairly common occurrence when they wake up. Snoozing on the edge of the bridge was not a good idea grunty!

01:25 After leaving the bridge I carefully get into position on the edge of the rocky ledge, near the sharp corner. You don't need to get quite so precarious as this. I'm actually a touch more precarious than I would've liked, and a couple of times when trying to set things up I've actually fallen off. Perhaps it would also be better to be facing a little more to the right, to make for easier departures. Here I'm facing almost parallel to the cliff. One other thing. I could've set this checkpoint up quicker but I wanted to give the Pelican enough time to leave, so things would be quiet with no distractions.

01:42 (First method) For openers then, here are three descents using Sligfantry's method involving the plateau base and a rock. I refer you to my account of the method for details of the technique. I'm using a slightly different style to that seen in Sligfantry's video. In particular I like to rotate near the ledge bounce, to face the way I'll be going. The first landing is perfect: not even a flicker of my shield. More usually though, you'd take shield damage and often health damage. With the second landing I'm almost stopped on the spot and I lose health. On the third I get bounced away with shield damage only.

02:17 Targeting isn't easy, and even if you're in the right general area you often die. So I threw in this comedy sequence of four failures to give you the general idea. Ouch.

02:37 Ok, I think that's enough dying. Just to clear the palate before I show you the five possible rocks you can get, here's a nice landing. A very nice landing.

02:45 So, here are the rocks. I arranged to be in exactly the same spot each time (after crossing a loading point to randomize the rock), allowing me to make this sequence. I was actually wedged in between the twin cannons of a Ghost I'd parked beforehand, which guaranteed a consistent position; and then I just had to try and point in a consistent direction. I've also joined the clips in such a way that the up-and-down hand movement continues smoothly throughout, which I thought would look neat. At 25 fps the animation has a cycle of 59 frames, just in case you wanted to know.

The rocks are shown in order of decreasing height. Rock 1 is what I got in my set-up, and it may be the best. In fact, I deliberately arranged to get it for my set-up, so I could hopefully get some good landings easier. I once got a success rate of 8% with it. Rock 3 is actually a squashed version of rock 1. Rock 5 is a squashed version of rock 2, and I've never managed a success rate of more than 2% with that one, so I suspect it's the worst.

02:57 Here are a few landings with the various rocks. They're not meant to be representative; it's mostly just for a bit of variety. First there's a nasty landing with rock 4, then a perfect landing with rock 3. Next up is rather abrupt stop with rock 5, then a perfect landing with rock 2. And finally, an amusingly perfect landing with rock 1, in which I don't even bounce away to the ground. Soft as can be!

03:24 (Second method) Now we move to the second method, in which you don't even use a rock; you just use a different bit of the plateau base - which is hard to get to. Sligfantry mentioned doing that one time by accident, but wasn't sure how. I investigated and pinned down the technique, now detailed in my account of the method. And as you can read there, it actually turned out to give me a far higher success rate than the rock method.

In the first two descents here, I use the specific technique suggested in my guide. With the third I do things a little differently, initially drifting in towards the cliff at a sharper angle then curving right. With the fourth, the technique is very different and I keep almost the same direction to begin with. Doing things that way isn't recommended (I have lower success rate with it), but I included an example of it to show the possibility.

04:17 (PAL speed run showdown) And now for a bit of extra fun, here's my PAL speed run showdown, in which I compare descent methods for speed. With each of these methods I was starting from the same checkpoint, just past the loading point in the passage. It's actually the checkpoint I started from when doing my earlier set-up, and thus I've got the same rock (and the same Grunt snoozing by the near left Shade).

04:22 First up, a Shade ride clipping the V. Previously, this type of Shade ride was the fastest method for PAL speed runs. I'm using a frag because it goes off faster than a plasma. Quite a nice landing, but I could've done with dismounting slightly earlier.

04:47 Next, same again but releasing the grenade sooner to get a slightly earlier launch. Originally I hadn't planned on including this version of the method, but when I reminded myself of WLT's video I saw that he was releasing the frag earlier than me, so I decided to give it a go. I thought it would probably take loads of tries, but I think luck was on my side as I pulled off this launch after only a handful, which was quite a relief. The landing is pretty nasty, but hey I'm a cyborg, I can take it. Actually I lose a bit of time on the landing compared to the first Shade ride, so overall I'm no speedier; in fact I'm about 0.3 seconds slower. But on a good day I might've been half a second up.

05:12 Now I use the friendly slope - and for amusement value I tag the Grunt on the way, hee hee! I get an excellent landing with not much health lost - which is kind of important in view of the Banshee fire quickly raining down on me. I could destroy it of course, but I'm simulating a speed run here, so I'm not about to slow myself up for that. As for the time, I'm about 1.4 seconds up on the first Shade ride.

05:38 Now the rock method. This time I just leap past the Grunt without giving him a wake-up call, which technically is the best thing to do because you don't want to attract the attention of the patrolling Elite. I get a great landing, not bouncing very far back from the rock, and I'm soon on my way, about a second up on the first Shade ride - and with perfect health.

06:03 Finally, the rock method again, but this time with an even better landing in which I don't bounce back from the rock at all. That saves a few seconds, leaving me about 3.7 up on the first Shade ride, and again with perfect health. WINNER!

Closing remarks Phew! I'm glad to get this movie out at last, as a follow-up to Sligfantry's video and his note about fluking a landing off just the plateau base. Over the last eleven days I've spent way more time falling off ledges than is medically advisable, and now I can maybe have a break.

Originally I hadn't planned on having a speed run showdown, but somewhere along the line I decided it would be a fun way of finishing off, and also to demonstrate how the two new descent methods shape up against Shade riding, the previous fastest way. I did have to do rather a lot of takes to get those five descent clips though. Luckily I'm not into unconditional speed runs - I go for the kill 'em all variety - so I don't anticipate trying to use one of the new methods on an actual speed run. I'll leave that to the professionals!